Effectively improving your on-site SEO represents one of the highest-ROI activities you can perform for your business. Driving thousands of visitors to your site each month on autopilot is a great way to build up a passive income stream. All business owners dream of this, but many of them fail to implement the correct strategies to do so. From internal linking to keyword research and visual content, this article will guide you through seven simple but effective SEO strategies that provide great bang for your buck.
Develop an internal linking strategy
SEO very much follows the 80/20 rule in the sense that 80% (or more) of your website traffic will find your site through 20% of your total posts. When you have one of these posts that the search engines seem to love, utilize this to your advantage through internal linking. A high ranking on a competitive search term means that Google sees your content as a high authority within your niche. Including internal links to your lesser performing content is an excellent way to increase your site traffic.
Internal linking is very powerful yet is often overlooked by most in the digital marketing community. Think about it like this. If you don't think highly enough of your own content to link to it, how do you expect Google to find it? Especially with a high performing post, you should now have a consistent stream of visitors each month. By linking to other posts on your site, you can send these engaged visitors to more of your content, decreasing your bounce rate in the process.
Use a keyword research tool
Writing engaging long-form content is a time-consuming process. Before you start, it's important to do some research and find exactly what potential customers in your niche are searching for. If you're on a budget, a solid free way to do this is with the Keyword Planner on Google adwords. This will provide a strong insight as to the monthly searches and competition for certain keywords that you're looking to target.
A good keyword research tool will even uncover related keywords that may be even easier to rank for. Combine this with the excellent free Google Trends tool and you'll gain a historical look at different keywords over time, effectively gauging them to see if they're worth pursuing. An alternative to this outsourcing this keyword research to a specialist SEO services provider with the knowledge and experience to get you even better results.
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Target longtail keywords
Long-tail keywords should form the foundation of your SEO strategy. Whilst they are narrower than standard short-tail keywords, they help cater to a specific audience and can dramatically increase conversions. People would much rather find a solution that they believe is specifically tailored to their needs, as opposed to something more generic. Providing this specific solution will allow you to stand out as an authority within your chosen niche.
Moreover, the addition of long-tail keywords also ensures that you rank for the main seed keyword as well. For example, if you rank for the term "best sports car for men under 25" and do an effective job, your content will also rank for the keyword "best sports car". As such, it's of vital importance that you focus on long-tail keywords when optimizing your site content. Not only do these have much lower competition, but they will also provide you with more engaged site visitors and improve your overall search rankings.
Utilize alt image tags
Whilst your content is the most important factor when it comes to search engine rankings, you should be looking to effectively utilize the other potential SEO assets on your website. Chief among these are the images you use within your posts. Instead of providing just another generic description, the alt image tag represents a great way to improve your chance of ranking for a specific keyword.
This is essentially how Google reads the images on your site. Not only can it be used to double down on your target keyword, this strategy can help your content rank for multiple longtail keywords. Whilst you shouldn't just spam your target keyword into every alt tag, adding two-three extra tags per post can help you outrank competitors. When done effectively, these can easily bring in passive organic traffic each month.
Write longer content
One of the best ways to increase the reach that your content receives is by simply increasing its length. Whilst the "length implies strength" heuristic is often touted, this is even more so the case with SEO. Recent data suggests that the length of the average posts at the top of Google is 2450 words. Google wants content that provides a comprehensive solution to the problems of their users and longer content simply does a much better job of this.
Moreover, longer form content will be able to rank for more keywords, keep visitors on your site for longer and receive more social shares. These are all very valuable metrics for your SEO and will only serve to increase your search rankings. This isn't to say that you have to create a 5000-word article each time either. Take a look at the post that is currently ranking at the top for your target keyword, analyze how it can be improved and make the appropriate adjustments. As long as you're doing enough to get that number one ranking, you'll likely enjoy a significant uptick in traffic.
Whilst images are a great way to make your content more visually appealing, embedding youtube videos can take the content to a whole new level. Recent statistics suggest that 55% of internet users are watching videos each day. If you can provide videos with highly relevant keywords, your search engine exposure will noticeably increase. Similarly, including a link back to your site in your video description provides a strong source of referral traffic and a high-authority backlink.
You'll often find that a YouTube video comes up as the top result for certain keywords. Owned by Google, YouTube is now comfortably the second largest search engine in the world and definitely shouldn't be overlooked on your SEO journey. In addition to the increased referral traffic, adding video to your content will improve your site's SEO metrics. Users will stay engaged with your content for longer, ultimately allowing Google to see you as a high authority on your chosen topic.
Optimize your site for mobile
With the advent of technology and the smartphone era, users are increasingly using mobile to search the web. Recent statistics suggest that the percentage of website visits from mobile devices has risen to 63% and is only expected to increase in future. Browsing sessions on mobile are known to increase the average user time on your website and decrease the bounce rate, two very important SEO metrics.
As such, it is of vital importance that you optimize your site for mobile to provide the best possible user experience. A great way to do this is by providing a fluid layout that can easily adapt to different screen sizes. Ideally, you want the site content to appear exactly the same whether users are on their tablet or smartphone. Similarly, your site needs to be designed with the understanding that many users will be using their fingers to navigate it as opposed to a more precise mouse.